Here’s How to Use Text Messaging in Your BusinessCatherine van Straten
Consumers are bombarded with numerous messages every day. From social media alerts to promotional emails and calls, the world has become incredibly busy. Businesses now face the challenge to break through the noise to reach customers simply and conveniently.
Since the first text message that was sent in 1992, text-based messaging has evolved into the most popular form of communication, overtaking speaking on a mobile phone. While some newer communication applications hold some of the market, text messaging is still the favourite as the most basic and effective method. To benefit from its efficiency, accessibility and affordability, businesses are now moving to text-based messaging services to reach more customers.
Cellfind, a leading mobile technology solutions company, says that their text messaging services “assist organisations in communicating cost-effectively and efficiently with their employees, customers and other stakeholders while creating either direct cost savings and/or revenue generative opportunities for customers.” It is evident that, if implemented correctly, text-based messaging is the way forward for businesses who are looking for improved communication solutions.
How to implement text messaging into your business’ communication strategy
With text messages, it’s easier than ever to sign customers up for business communication. When a customer buys or signs up for a product or service from a business’ online store, there is often an option to insert a phone number to opt into future communication. If businesses take advantage of this, it is easy to build up a database of numbers to send news, promotions and other important information to. Once you have built your database, you can use text messaging in the following ways to reach your customers:
Text messages make it convenient to send reminders about appointments, orders and payments. A major benefit of implementing text messaging into your communication strategy is that it can be automated. So, daily, weekly or monthly reminders can be sent with just a click of a button. This can lower cancellations and increase on-time payments, saving your team valuable time and money.
Send important information and updates
It can be difficult to reach a large group of people with important information and updates. However, text messaging’s accessibility makes it easy. An option such as bulk SMS or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) can be implemented to increase success rates of information delivery.
USSD is an efficient and affordable way to interact with customers and it offers an excellent alternative to mobile applications when you need to reach customers who don’t have smartphones. Cellfind says, “this menu-driven communications protocol can be used to provide your customers with information services (weather forecasts and news), interactive services (surveys and competitions), and payment services (airtime top-ups, for example).”
Promote your business
Certain text messaging options allow rich media to be sent. In other words, you can now send images and even video through simple text messages to customers. With text messaging’s 98% open rate, your business can be seen by more people, faster. This opens a whole new world of innovative brand positioning.
Specifically, SMS is a great solution to boost your marketing strategy. Cellfind says it “offers a great method to advertise your services or products, or even run competitions” and that it has an “immediate and long-lasting impact on the consumer”.
For SMS marketing campaigns to be successful, however, it must adhere to certain rules. Text-based messages can easily come across as intrusive and spammy. To ensure you comply with industry standards, it is advisable to study the industry Code of Conduct, maintained by the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA).
Announcing the launch of new products
It is often difficult to get the word out about new products or services. With a low open rate of around only 22.1%, email is no longer as effective as it used to be. On the other hand, text messages are a convenient and affordable way to announce new products and services. The cryptic nature of text messages also makes it easy to read, so the most important information is absorbed before the reader becomes uninterested.
Sending gift vouchers
Whether your business has a customer loyalty programme, or you simply want to send promotional codes to your customers on special occasions, such as birthdays, sending it via text is highly effective. Not only does it offer a more personal touch to the idea, but it is easy for receivers to store it on their phones for future use.
Improve customer service
Gone are the days of customers waiting forever on the phone to get support. Text messages is a ground breaker in this field. Agents can easily reach out to customers via text message or a DIY customer service messaging service, such as USSD. Queries and issues can be resolved quickly in real-time.
Other ways you can improve business processes through text messaging include:
- Communicating with your team
With so many communication apps available these days, it can be difficult to find one tool that everyone has access to and can use. Luckily, text messaging is the most accessible with 100% of all modern phones being able to send and receive text messages. This makes it the perfect method to communicate with your team.
- Communicating with suppliers
Business-to-business communication has largely been done via email or calls. Unfortunately, with the increased security risks email faces and the high costs of telephone calls, text messaging is becoming the go-to solution.
There is a reason why text messaging services have stood the test of the time: Its benefits far outweigh that of its competitors. Text messaging has proved itself to be the most convenient, most affordable and most effective form of communication in modern times. In the business world, email and voice-call applications have until recently been the major forms of communication, however, text messaging is fast becoming the frontrunner in the business sector too. Technology may evolve faster than ever, but the basics are still at the helm.
Cellfind is an innovative communications technology company specialising in text messaging solutions for businesses.